The Haphazard Jean Machine (Sound installation)
Based on an interview recorded with Martin Sumner for Portsea Wall.
Jean was the first full-time female labourer to work in Portsmouth Dockyard. The interview tells the story of her interview and the years she spent as a fire-watcher working with a team of welders. Like all ad-hoc discourse it doesn't start at the beginning and end neatly but dances around experiences and recollections as they are occur. The interview is cut into short episodes and re-constructed randomly. At times it makes perfect sense and at others it drifts into a ramble. Nevertheless there is a clear sense of narrative and the picture is clearly drawn with spoken word. There is the smell of pies, hiding from the foreman, the good times, the tricks and capers to wile away the often long boring days, the helicopters and haughty naval personal, the dead ships, the fire extinguishers and Charlie and the three angels. It never ends, it goes winding around, you hear some of it again [as you do when people tell you things] but the way it's joined together continually changes.
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